By looking into Islamic history, this essay argues historical roots of considering Shi’ism as a heterodox tradition. For this purpose, the outline of the social structure in the last few years of the Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime as a potential for conflict will be shown. In addition, the period of the first Caliphs, as a base for shaping the so-called orthodoxy in Islam, will be analyzed. Finally, some debates over the heterodoxy of Shi’ism will be presented and their validity will be evaluated.
|Keywords:||Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, Shi’ism, Early Islamic History|
Graduate Student, Center for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National University, Australia